THE Department of Tourism Region 6, together with other government agencies, joined the 2019 First Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill on Feb. 21.
Iloilo City was chosen as the national pilot for the said activity. More than a thousand participants gathered in five major areas in the city, namely John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University-Arevalo Campus, SM City Iloilo, Megaworld, Iloilo Mission Hospital and Iloilo City Hall. This year’s Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED) began with the ceremonial pressing of the button at the Iloilo Dinagyang Grandstand.
“We should welcome the preparedness advocated by our government to reduce the potential risk of disaster to our people,” DOST-PHILVOCS Undersecretary Renato Solidum, Jr. said in his speech during the event.
Department of National Defense undersecretary Reynaldo Mapagu in his keynote speech stressed that readiness is the key to success whether in times of peace or war. Through quarterly drill, plans can be assessed and improved to make it more efficient, responsive and accurate to address sudden occurrence of earthquake.
The First Quarter Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill simulated a magnitude 8.2 earthquake. Under such magnitude shaking would last for more than a minute and it is impossible to stand-up. This was the same earthquake strength as the “Lady Caycay” which rocked Panay Island in 1948. Participants successfully executed proper Evacuation procedures, set up Emergency Operation Centers, Emergency Medical Response, and Clearing and relief operations.
“The Department of Tourism Region 6 supports activities that capacitate our employees to be disaster resilient. Readiness and promptness is being taught and practiced in our Department may it be in times of disaster or even in our daily office activities,” DOT-6 regional director Atty. Helen Catalbas said./PN